It Looks Like Moon Valley's Getting a Goodwill, Despite Fight from Affluent Residents

goodwill-moon-valley.jpg
Photo by Matthew Hendley
The former site of AJ's Fine Foods.


Much to the dismay of many Moon Valley residents, it looks like a Goodwill store is going to open in their neighborhood.

A couple of months ago, New Times obtained several e-mail chains among residents of the North Phoenix country-club community, including former Republican U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, rallying others to demand City of Phoenix officials not to allow Goodwill to open the store at the former location of an AJ's Fine Foods store, at Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road.

See also:
-Moon Valley Elitists Trying to Keep Goodwill Out of the Neighborhood

The photo at the top of this post was taken Wednesday, so it looks like that ended up being a losing fight.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Bill Gates, who represents Moon Valley as part of his district, told New Times in June that one of residents' primary concerns was property values. He said some residents have called this potential Goodwill store the "gateway into Moon Valley moving onto Seventh Street."

We noted at the time that Moon Valley isn't the same neighborhood it used to be. The large homes remain on the side of the surrounding mountains, but other things have changed, and the first major sign of that came last year when the Moon Valley Country Club and its golf course declared bankruptcy.

The snobbish e-mails, though, showed apparent disbelief that a Goodwill was going to be placed in the former AJ's location.

It's described in the e-mails as "INCOMPATIBLE with the current tenants of the [shopping center] and the surrounding residential areas and neighborhoods."

It's "completely inappropriate," according to an e-mail spread by "neighborhood advocate" Amy Mais. The retail stores around other Phoenix Goodwill stores are "very troubling" and "of the lowest possible quality."

In one of Shadegg's e-mails, he was upset that city officials and "what they have done to us" -- you know, like not keep charity efforts away from their homes.

The people fighting the Goodwill were the ones tasked with finding a new tenant to lease the space for their wishes to be considered, so it looks like that didn't go too well.

Get thrifty, Moon Valley.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


My Voice Nation Help
37 comments
Anon
Anon

Moonvalley is a dump, it's no Scottsdale.  It deserves to have AJs turned into Goodwills

arthur_snodgrass
arthur_snodgrass

I don't like poor people. they're always complaining and they're dirty and they smell really bad.

AZGal158
AZGal158

Goodwill is going to bring so much traffic to what's now a pretty empty shopping center. The stores and restaurants in this area are going to get more traffic because of it. What's the problem?

LifeisGood
LifeisGood

I love Goodwill!  Happy they're coming into the neighborhood.  I can't wait to shop this new location,  my husband is a bit nervous about how much I will really be there and spend. :-)  Once people actually see the store open and find some great items, they'll realize it's a good thing. 

PhxDweller
PhxDweller

I'm willing to bet many of these people in Moon Valley will soon become customers of Goodwill. It only takes 1 shopping trip with a cart full of finds to become a regular customer. Since when is Moon Valley considered a nice area, anyway? I think it's a boring neighborhood with no real restaurants or anything to do. Am I missing something?

LetsGetFree
LetsGetFree

By the way the only reason why your Mormon republican politicians speak against Goodwill is because it was founded by a Methodist reverend, they would prefer one of their Mormon non-profits take up residence instead.

LetsGetFree
LetsGetFree

Good for Goodwill and good for the community.  Goodwill does not bring crime, homeless, or weirdos.  Goodwill is a great non-profit corporation that instead of complaining about things, actually helps try to bring solutions to the forefront, something your government cannot even accomplish.  Goodwill has helped tens of thousands of people find employment, often in full-time positions.  Their Career Centers have been instrumental to many in finding work and assisting with resume building and how to be successful when being interviewed.  I commend Goodwill and all of it's volunteers for all of the work they do for and with communities across the US. 

jenbuz
jenbuz

We don't need Goodwill in our area. I live in the Moon Valley area and its nice and quiet up here. What will Goodwill bring? Nothing. Every location I have been in smelled like moth balls and other unpleasant smells. No way. A Glorious day you say?  I call it a nightmare! You don't understand what a store like this could bring it this community. It will bring crime, homeless and weirdos. That will downgrade this area big time. It will be a dangerous area to come out at night. The kids in this area will no longer be able to play outside anymore, will no longer be able to go spend the night over at a friend's house because it is too dangerous. It must be stopped. This is B.S.!!!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Hurray!  Corporate interests have thwarted the will of the local residents once again!

I guess that's a good thing because the local residents are wealthy, and therefore "not like us" and therefore evil?

Hurray! Open-mindedness has been thwarted by divisiveness once again!

What a glorious day?


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@LetsGetFree  

I'm not Mormon or Republican, but am curious as to why you brought those two groups into this discussion.  It suggests bigotry on your part.

People who care about their property values would rather have a trendy up-scale business than one that is associated (fairly or not) with lower income residents, because property value is all about the buyer's perception of the neighborhood.

Regardless of what statistics may actually show, if a buyer sees one home near a Goodwill store, and another near an AJ's Fine Foods, which one is he going to assume has better schools and a lower crime rate?

shadeaux14
shadeaux14 topcommenter

@jenbuz Face it. What you really object to is that you're afraid Goodwill will attract...........................GASP!!!!!!


Mexicans.

PhxDweller
PhxDweller

@jenbuz kids can't spend the night at a friends house because of a retailer? Perhaps there are other factors as to why your kids can't stay at friends houses, but I'm pretty sure a retailer, Goodwill or otherwise, has nothing to do with. Hilarious!

samrocksc
samrocksc

@jenbuz I'm going to need some statistics confirming this.  has there been recent crime statistic findings?  I'm truly fascinated! 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@jenbuz You do know that you can also DONATE things at a good will, like your 2 year old Rolex and glass slippers, right?  I live in an upper middle class area, with a good will.  And I know MANY folks that stop there, both to donate and buy.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative  "Open-mindedness has been thwarted by divisiveness once again!"  Which foot does that shoe fit on?  Seems to me that foot belongs to the Moon Valley residents who are the ones that are not being open-minded about having a Good-Will in their neighborhood.

Personally, (1) they already have a Dollar Tree in that plaza and I'm not sure how Good-will is any worse than that, and (2) almost any viable business is better than an empty store front for community vitality so this beats their prior option which was a big "for lease" sign in a big anchor tenant space.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative Legally, how can anyone prevent the Goodwill store?  Or do you belive in mob rule?


If there isn't enough business, the store will close down.  That's the way it works in America!  Bet it will last longer than AJ's after all!

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Valleynative  The problem for the nearby residents is that they didn't sufficiently support the AJ's that was there so it was no longer a viable location for AJ's and the other commercial enterprises to evaluate the corner over the past couple years determined that it wasn't a commercially viable location for them either.  So they can scream and holler all they want about wanting a trendy, up-scale business near their homes, but their neighborhood apparently won't support one as determined by companies who have likely looked at that space and declined to open there.

You're right about introducing both religion and political affiliation into this debate - totally inappropriate and off-base.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@shadeaux14   No - I think that @jenbuz is just afraid of poor people in generally regardless of ethnicity or skin color. 

rickaz59
rickaz59

Now if a pet store selling exotic snakes were to move into that space, I would worry about where my kids spent the night.

jenbuz
jenbuz

@WhoKnows @jenbuz  

Yes, I do realize that. I just don't think it's a great idea is all. I'm just afraid what Goodwill in this area will bring in that's all. I used to live near the downtown area. I see Goodwills there and know what they attract. I just don't want the same thing to happen in the North Valley up here. All the Goodwill stores I've been in were unattractive to say the least. Sorry if I offended anyone, I really wasn't trying to. Just trying to get my point across.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public  

It clearly applies to Matthew's article.  It's not so clear regarding the residents.   It would probably be better for their property values to wait a few months and find a more up-scale tenant.  The fact that potential home buyers perceive a neighborhood with a Goodwill store to be less "ritzy" than one with an AJ's is not something to which "open-mindedness" really applies.

A Dollar Tree and a Goodwill is more than twice as bad as either one alone, since they reinforce each others image.

rickaz59
rickaz59

Republicans believe in restricting property rights, telling real estate owners how their land should be used and who should use it.  Republicans also believe in maximum government regulation.

That's why there won't be an abortion clinic in that space.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows

Many neighborhoods have successfully petitioned their local governments to block "big box" stores.   Communities routinely restrict liquor stores, etc.

Petitions are not "mob rule".

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@LetsGetFree  So how about backing up that boldfaced, bigoted assertion? Which Mormon?  Where'd they make those comments?  Who'd they make them too?  You put it out there, you back it up.  I'm not Mormon but ascribing those types of motives based solely on religious beliefs without any hard evidence is offensive to everyone.   I'd love to hear it.

LetsGetFree
LetsGetFree

@valley native @JohnQ.Public  Bringing religion and politics into this debate is inappropriate off-base and bigoted?  Emphatically Now Cipher!  Religion and Politics are the main two reasons why religious (Mormon) Politicians tried to thwart Goodwill's move into the community!  By the way I did not bring religion and politics into the discussion, your political pundits who tried to keep Goodwill out of the area did! Since when is the truth bigoted, inappropriate and off-based?  I suggest you both scratch the surface and dig a little deeper into reality.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative  In this case, a Goodwill store will most likely qualify under the definition of retail in the same way as a Target, Kohls, Staples or PetSmart. As far as I'm aware, retail doesn't need a special use permit to open under most zoning codes (with the exception of sexually explicit retail) so the zoning/planning commission can't apply a heightened standard of scrutiny to Goodwill that it wouldn't apply to any other retailer.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative Not business licensing but zoning codes. Certain types of business entities as defined under the municiple zoning code require a special use permit to operate. Take live music, for instance. A bar that wants to have live music is going to need 2 special use permits in most cities - one for the bar itself and the other for the live music. The special use permit for the llive music will have requirements attached to it such as which directions the speakers must be facing and what time the music has to shut down. The live music is a special use and the special use permit process is designed to protect the neighbors from encroachment by this special use. But the zoning code needs to be very specific, such as defining the ratio of food-to-alcohol sales that differentiate a bar from a restaurant because bars and restaurants are treated differently under the zoning code. The zoning code must be applied very uniformly and objectively or the municipality can be subject to charges of discrimination and denial of equal protection.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public  

That's how the market works, but we also have a system of business licensing that works in parallel to ensure that we don't have liquor stores and nude bars on every street corner.

 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Valleynative.  The AJ's has been closed for a year - how much longer would it take to find a different tenant.  3 months.  6 months.  12 months.  How long must the property owner wait in order to appease the nearby residents.

The beauty of our free-market(ish) system, though, is that the nearby residents can vote with their wallets, not go there, and hope that Good-will goes out of business in that sapce because it isn't economically viable there.  Of course, Good-will's cost of goods is almost $0 so that's going to be tough for the residents to do, but that's how our economic system works.

ilikewincobest
ilikewincobest

@WhoKnows @valleynative @rickaz59 fry's supermarkets in arizona are identical to ralph's stores in los angeles, save for the logo. the colors, store layout, house brands... everything is the same. I've lived in arizona for 3 years after 25 years in los angeles and I still call fry's store's "ralph's".

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @rickaz59 Walmart was planning a "neighborhood food store" in my area.  Folks were up in arms.  They wanted a "Ralph's" instead, and didn't understand that "Ralph's is in Ca and not AZ.


They weren't against having a food store at the location.  Just ONE specific food store.  Needless to say, the "Ralph's" fans lost.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@rickaz59  

You're saying "Republicans" when I think you mean "politicians".   In this case, however, it was citizens circulating a petition.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

***Sportsman's Fine Spirits over Bob's Liquor Store

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative  Yes and no.  Liquor stores require special use permits under most zoning codes so there is a specific zoning provision related to them with established standards for evaluating whether a special use permit should be granted.  Big box stores can be zoned out of a community by limiting max store size, requiring certain ratios of grocery to non-grocery sales, etc.  What can't be done through zoning or petition is for a community to select a Target over a Walmart or a Sportsman's Fine Spirits of Bob's Liquor Store.  As a libertarian-leaning conservative (which I believe you are from your comments), I think you'll agree with me that we don't want the city council or zoning commission picking and chosing winners.  So if that power center is zoned commercial/retail, we don't want the city council saying we'll allow an AJ's there but not a Safeway or Albertsons or, in this case, we'll allow a Kohls or Target there, but not a Goodwill store even though all three meet the definition of retail under the zoning code and none would need a special use permit to open at that location. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows

Don't embarrass yourself.  I was giving an example of how citizens can prevent specific stores from moving in.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative @WhoKnows How is Goodwill a "big box" store when it fits in the space that was an AJ's?  Is AJ's also a "big box" store?

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...